Chapter 1 - An Idea Hatched

All men believe that they are God's gift to women. But if he's the gift, why is she the possession?

0…0…0

Snarling, InuYasha followed closely after her, stomping to the well, glaring at her relaxed back. He had to keep from letting his eyes drift to her tight ass in her latest fashion statement: jeans. He shook his head, forcing his gaze to the back of her head.

How dare she! She had just turned her back on him! Him! Now she would go back to her weird ass time and fume for a few days.

But he couldn't afford for her to be away from him that long. Something in him was threatening to consume the rest of him if he didn't mate her soon.

Damn youkai instincts, he growled to himself. Fucking hate this shit. I can't go anywhere without Kagome unless I want to go insane. His eyes slid back to her ass of their own volition and he had to force the moan about to escape his lips back down. He couldn't chance getting her any angrier than she already was. He had to convince her to stay with him before he could coax her into mating him. That's a huge fucking step! Especially when she so obviously prefers her time to this one. I have to find a way to make her love me back. That way she would never go without me with her and I could keep an eye on her, too.

Or you could just keep her here. She doesn't let you decide whether she stays or goes; she has to learn now that that shit's gonna end. If you mate her, she won't be going there very often, his demon side insisted. It had been speaking up a lot lately, which pissed the hanyou off. It was hard enough to just fight the instincts. But when he physically had to do something, it was all the worse.

A few nights before, he'd found himself staring at her in her sleep, imagining what it would be like when he first took her. His breath had stalled in his lungs at the pictures flashing through his mind. He had been so hard that he hadn't been able to sleep at all that night, though they didn't have to worry much about youkai attacks anymore.

He had to have her.

And if he didn't act quickly, it wouldn't matter whether she wanted it too or not. He could only quell his demon side for so long before it took control.

Clutching the hilt of Tessaiga to steady himself, InuYasha shouted, "Kagome, stop! Come back here!" He tensed to leap in front of her.

She turned towards him, arms crossed over her breasts. Sarcasm dripping from her tone, Kagome replied, "Oh, I'm so sorry, InuYasha! Should I go to my knees to beg for forgiveness?"

The image of Kagome kneeling at his feet made him stop just as he began to jump. His breath caught just as it had for so many nights. Stifling a groan of pure agony, he croaked, "I never said you needed to be forgiven for anything." He copied her stance before going on. "All I want to know is why the fuck you always go to your time when we get into a fight. I don't see the damn point! You come back a few days later anyways!" His voice became a shout as he continued on. He hated her being anywhere but beside him and it ticked him off that she would do this to him. Of course, she had no idea what was going on.

She rolled her expressive blue eyes towards the sky then glowered. "I need time away from you, InuYasha. You always pick fights at the worst possible times! My question is why? Why do you do that? It's so counter-productive!" She let her arms drop and sighed, rubbing the bridge of her nose, annoyed. "So, please, just let me go over there. I just need to cool down. Then we can go find the last shard, all right?"

InuYasha frowned. When she looked up at him once more, he saw how weary she was. Her hair fell as though she'd run her fingers through it a dozen times, falling haphazardly to frame her face beautifully. There were small bags under her eyes, barely noticeable but still there. Her skin was pale, though they were in the sun a lot of the time. Her shoulders sagged under the thin straps of the "beater," as she called it.

Guilt filled his stomach. His mate was so blatantly tired, yet he hadn't even detected until that moment. How could he be so stupid? So blind? It showed how self-centered he was.

I could never take care of her. She would be sick of me in a day. How could she stand me for the kind of forever mates share?

"Kagome," he said softly, moving towards her as his arms reached out towards her. "I'm sorry." As he had begun doing since they had defeated Naraku, he drew her into his arms, curling her into his chest. "I guess I can be a bit hard to be with for so long, huh?"

If he hadn't known better, at those words, his little miko snuggled into his arms, a small but content sigh leaving her. "Sometimes, I just really have to talk to my mom, you know? It's hard when we're gone so much."

He loosened his hold as he heard their companions approaching. Kagome moved away from him to twist towards the trees.

Just in time to be attacked by a small ball of fur.

"Kagome!" Shippo clutched her around the neck, his small body plastered to her. "Please don't leave just because InuYasha is stupid. We can kick him out of the village if you want us to. He can come back in a few days." His words were said with such child innocence, InuYasha almost took pity on the creature.

Almost.

Hand landing solidly on the kitsune's head, he growled, "Like you're one to talk about stupid, runt!"

"InuYasha!" Kagome shouted, furiously jumping to Shippo's defense. "Don't hit him!" Scooping the child into her arms, she commanded, "Sit, boy."

Flying to the ground, InuYasha let a string of curses loose, struggling to keep from choking on dirt. She always did this to him! It was either a lot of fun for her to watch him digging his own grave, or she was just mad with power. Once they became mates, that shit would stop.

He'd make sure of it.

As the spell began to wear off, he rose on stiffened arms, looking up to where Kagome put Shippo down near the well.

He barely heard her words over the rage pounding in his head. "Shippo, tell everyone that I'll be back in a few days."

With that, she slipped into the well and disappeared.

Hauling his body up, he roared, "Gods damnit, Kagome!" He ran to the well, looking over the edge to see nothing but emptiness. Damnit, she's already gone through it. Son of a bitch.

Snarling, he leapt into the forest, not even sparing a glance when the kitsune called out to him.

0…0…0

Everyone anxiously awaited the moment when InuYasha would return to the village, knowing he would be furious.

Anyone with working eyes and ears knew why.

Over the past few months, whenever Kagome left for her world—though it was becoming very rare—InuYasha would become more argumentative, his short-temper even shorter. He hated having her anywhere but with them, detecting the jewel shards that Naraku had re-scattered upon his death.

But Miroku and Sango knew better. That might have been a reason, but the bigger one was the fact that InuYasha couldn't watch her every move when she was in her time. She could be with anyone—male or female—and he wouldn't be able to do a thing about it. Though he was pretty good at hiding his fevered glances at their miko friend, both the houshi and the taijiya had caught a few of them, discussing the possibility that InuYasha would take Kagome as his mate.

It wasn't too farfetched. The hanyou so perceptibly loved her as much as she did him, especially without Kikyo to clog his judgment any longer. He protected her more than ever now that Naraku was defeated. Kouga was always running around, he and InuYasha fighting all the time. Both wanted Kagome for their own, but lately, the hanyou had been fighting—if possible—more vigorously than usual, rarely even having to pull out Tessaiga to scare the wolf off.

Both Miroku and Sango shared the same thought: Kagome would be InuYasha's mate. It was just the matter of when that was still hanging in the air. And from InuYasha's most recent actions towards her, that wouldn't be all that long a wait.

"I say we make a betting pool on how long it will take him to make his move. It will make this whole situation all the more fun," Miroku suggested, a knowing gleam in his eye. He turned his gaze to his wife. "Will you wager anything, my dear Sango?"

She crossed her arms over her chest, glaring at him. "What kind of person do you think I am?" A grin widened her mouth. "Put me in for all I've got. I'm gonna say within three weeks." Leaning her head onto his shoulder, she whispered, "I can't believe it's taken him this long anyways."

The monk laughed, resting his head lightly on hers. "His pride is his biggest weakness."

She nodded. "Definitely."

0…0…0

InuYasha paced on a tree branch, his balanced unaffected. His hands were clutched behinds his back, nails digging into the skin of his wrists, the scent of blood reaching his nose. It didn't bother him. All he could think about was the anger bubbling in him.

Kagome had to learn that he was in charge. She didn't go anywhere without his permission. She shouldn't be running off to her time whenever she was annoyed. She should be by his side.

But she wasn't. That was the problem. He needed her by him whether she was angry, sad, or happy. It was her job, damnit.

"Master InuYasha! What is bothering you?" a familiar voice asked from near InuYasha's ear. "Nothing terrible, I hope."

"Myouga," he snapped. "What are you doing here?" He put a finger down on the older demon's head.

"Master, I apologize if you think I'm neglecting my duties to give you advice. Is something ailing you?" The flea jumped to InuYasha's nose, getting ready to suck his hanyou blood.

Squashing the other demon, he said, "Nothing of your concern." Ignoring Myouga's fluttering body, InuYasha leapt to the ground gracefully, folding his hands into his sleeves as he slowly walked away. His mind raced with his own merciless questions of what to do. How the hell was he supposed to persuade her to be his mate if she wouldn't even stay in the same time as him!

"Master, I believe that you are deceiving yourself and me if you tell me that nothing is on your mind." Myouga sat on his master's shoulder, folding his arms and legs as he closed his eyes. He sighed, shaking his miniscule head. "Could it have something to do with"—he paused to crack one eye open to look at InuYasha's face—"Lady Kagome?"

"Shut up!" InuYasha roared, trying once more to flatten the flea.

"I'm guessing this has something to do with your demon side?" He spoke calmly even as InuYasha growled. "If you wish to mate her, why will you not do it? It really is quite simple…not to mention enjoyable." As though it were a secret, Myouga muttered the last words under his breath.

"It's not as simple as that! She has her damn world to go to!"

"Ah. So it does have something to do with your youkai instincts." Pause. "I truly did expect as much." Standing, Myouga tightened to knot of the sack on his back, looking slightly bored. "All you have to do is use a bit of magic to keep her tied to you. It really is a simple spell."

Curiosity intrigued, InuYasha said, "Huh, is that right? Tell me about this spell, Myouga."

As the flea told the inu hanyou of the power of this spell, the grin on his face grew all the bigger. Kagome had no idea what she was in for.

0…0…0

Three days later, Kagome returned to Feudal Era, feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. She had talked with her high school friends, though now she was believed to be home-schooled. She had also gotten her mother's advice on InuYasha. Which was the same as always, naturally. Her mother constantly told her to give him a chance, that he was just too prideful to make the first move. She understood exactly what her mother was saying, but didn't think she could do it. What if he didn't truly love her? What if he just had feelings distributed from Kikyo to her?

Sliding to her knees just outside the well, she sighed.

"Kagome! We were wondering when you would return!" Sango's voice echoed from just out of the trees. She waved a hand over her head, the other wrapped in Miroku's.

She smiled absentmindedly. It was so cute to see the married couple. Practically the moment they had defeated Naraku, Miroku had insisted on getting married. And they had. Now, nearly four months later, Sango was pregnant and the monk couldn't be any more arrogant. It was a gorgeous thing to witness, since the only other married couple she'd seen was her mother and father, but that had been when she was very young, before he had died.

She wondered if she would ever have the same thing, but instantly told herself that she would not. Even if she found a man in her time, it wouldn't matter. InuYasha was the only man she wanted. That would never change.

"I don't think I was really gone that long," she answered happily. Her friends had always been able to make her smile. "Besides, I've been gone longer than this quite a few times."

"Yes, but not recently. Usually, you only leave for a few hours, if that," Miroku replied, grinning. "It is just as at the beginning of our journey together, isn't it?"

The women laughed at him, silently agreeing.

"Kagome!" came a suspiciously composed voice that was mostly so annoyed and angry. "So you're back!"

Kagome stiffened at InuYasha's tone, knowing that it was worse than if he had been yelling at her. How had she made him so angry without even seeing him?

"Uh oh," Sango said, backing away, pulling Miroku with her. "We'll leave you to deal with our hanyou friend alone. We trust you can handle this." With a small wink, she and her husband disappeared back to the village, wanting to give their companions privacy.

Just as they vanished into the forest, InuYasha burst through the trees, running full-speed towards her. He slid to a stop in front of her, one hand clenched while the other lay limp at his side. "Kagome," he said as though he had to control the urge to shout at her. "I have something for you."

She was taken back by his words. He had something for her? What could he possibly be giving her if he was so angry with her?

He raised his hand and opened it, palm up, to reveal a small, gold locket…much like the one she'd given him when they had first thought they'd defeated Naraku.

"You're…you're giving me the locket?" she asked, confused. Why was he giving her the locket back? Could this be when he says goodbye? Pain ripped through her heart, causing her to grimace at the very real feeling. "Why? I gave it to you. It's yours."

He chuckled softly, totally out of character. "Yeah, it's mine. I never said I was giving it to you. I just want you to wear it, is all. It looks better on you, anyways." Her eyes widened at his statement, said nonchalantly. As she stared in shock, he opened the clasp, leaning in to put the necklace on her. She tensed as he got close enough for his hair to tickle her nose. Even after the locket hung around her neck, InuYasha lingered over her and she thought she heard his slight inhale. "There," he murmured. Grinning, he added, "And I knew it would look better on you."

"I…InuYasha. Thank you." She smiled in return as he looked down at her.

The telltale glint in his eyes told her that something wasn't right about this "gift" of InuYasha's. But what could his ulterior motive be?

Another small laugh and InuYasha was bounding off, shouting over his shoulder, "I'll be back in a little while, Kagome. I gotta go find Myouga!"

She stared after him, blinking as she clutched the warm locket in her hand. A barely-there smile graced her lips as she saw the last trace of his red haori disappear in the trees.

She let go of the locket and walked back to the village, feeling as though she were on cloud nine. As she entered Kaede's hut, Shippo ran over to her, climbing onto her shoulder. But she hardly felt it. All she could think of was the fact that InuYasha had now connected her to him.

"Kagome, you're back!" Hugging his surrogate mother's neck, Shippo rushed on with the events of the past few days. "The second you left, InuYasha disappeared as well! He came back every once in awhile, and he had this weird smile on his face like he was in on a secret or something. But he only stayed for a few moments, and then he was gone again! And Myouga was with him, which isn't a good sign. They both looked like they were plotting something." Looking into her eyes solemnly, he added, "I don't like it. Not at all, Kagome."

"Child, ye are talking so fast! Be careful, lest ye implode her ears!" Kaede joked. Since her sister had truly been put to rest, the old miko had become more susceptible to jokes and joining in on the younger men and women's humor whenever she was around.

Shippo blushed slightly at the joke. "Sorry." He glanced back up to Kagome and restated everything much slower, taking more than one giant gulp of breath.

"Thank you for informing me, Shippo." She gave him a wide smile. "I like to be kept up to date with everything that goes on here."

"Not a problem, Kagome." His eyes turned sly. "Did you happen to bring any candy with you, by chance?"

She rolled her eyes, but not rudely. "You only have one thing on your mind, Shippo." Reaching for her bag, she pulled out a small box of chocolate. Handing it to him, she said, "My mother bought this just for you. She says not to eat it too fast or else you'll get a horrible stomach ache."

Even as she spoke, he began digging into them, uncaring of the repercussions.

Within minutes, there was a loud moan. "Oh, my stomach!"

0…0…0

"Did you give Lady Kagome the locket, Master InuYasha?" Myouga asked anxiously. He jumped onto InuYasha's shoulder, his face stiff. He paced the relatively large space rigidly.

Smirking, InuYasha replied, "Of course."

"Good." There was a short, gleeful pause. "Now, all you have to do is mate her."

0…0…0

Tell me exactly what you think. Criticism, comments, concerns. Whatever. Just know that I wrote this at near two o'clock in the morning. Also, I don't know how long until I'll be able to update, so sorry if you get the short end of the stick.

SS98